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  #51  
Old 11-28-2009, 11:45 PM
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River, I have been very interested in the energy problems facing the world. I got my degree in nuclear engineering & health physics. From my perspective, we need to invest in better and cleaner energy sources. It will take some time to go from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.
I'm of the opinion that diligent study reveals that peaking oil and gas production represents a far more precarious, even dangerous, situation than most of us realize. Precarious and dangerous because our present economy livelihoods are utterly dependent on the immediate availability of cheap oil and gas, which -- I think -- will not and cannot remain cheap enough for very long before we have serious and permanent infrastructure failure.

Careful study reveals that alternatives (including and beyond renewables) of various kinds will almost certainly take, at least, decades before going fully "on line". And that means that we will be seeing TEOTWAWKI (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/TEOTWAWKI) before we see an energy renaissance or "technofix".

Nuclear is a bad idea for myriad reasons which shouldn't need spelling out: insurance companies won't touch it, governments would have to "insure"; no safe and effective waste-disposal solutions; uranium availability limits when in high global demand... on and on and on....

We're at peak net energy -- never again will we have the quantity and quality of energy we've had for the last hundred years. Capitalist industrialism will and must gradually put itself out of business -- and that leaves one available option, a return to much higher levels of LPLC (local production for local use) and a more or less agrarian way of life for future humans.

It will have to be a lifeway in which the baubles of consumerism are few -- but it may be a very good quality of life, nevertheless. Gardening, after all, can be fun -- as is riding a bicycle.
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  #52  
Old 11-29-2009, 12:50 AM
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http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

just in case you haven't seen it.
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  #53  
Old 11-29-2009, 12:51 AM
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River, Mono and I looked at your threads here.


http://transition-times.com

http://transitionculture.org

Very interesting, what is your involvement?
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  #54  
Old 11-29-2009, 03:09 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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Careful study reveals that alternatives (including and beyond renewables) of various kinds will almost certainly take, at least, decades before going fully "on line".
I think a lot of the alternatives don't become attractive until gas is over $4 a gallon. Luckily people are starting to get use to the idea that gas is going up and slowly changing their lifestyles (less SUVs and living closer to work). If gas keeps rising, new plants will open up once they become economical. But they need to feel certain that gas will stay high before companies invest in these alternatives. This will also push the market to go more for battery powered cars (but they still have a ways to goin R&D).

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Nuclear is a bad idea for myriad reasons which shouldn't need spelling out: insurance companies won't touch it, governments would have to "insure"; no safe and effective waste-disposal solutions; uranium availability limits when in high global demand... on and on and on....
I have to disagree with this point. The problems with nuclear power are the result of misinformation and politics. They government needs to work out a policy to protect electricity companies from endless lawsuits. They also need to work on carbon emission taxes to push for cleaner fuels.

I am against our current implementation of nuclear power where we use a tiny fraction (1%) of the fuel and encase the rest in glass for long term storage. We should be using breeder reactors which can in theory burn all the fuel. We currently have about 230 years of uranium fuel at the current burn rate. With breeders, we can extend that to 30,000 years. Or if we don't, we can use salt water extraction for 60,000 years. The problem with breeders is they produce plutonium as they generate fuel. We have to protect the plutonium because it is chemically easier to use to make bombs than enriching uranium.

Quote:
We're at peak net energy -- never again will we have the quantity and quality of energy we've had for the last hundred years. Capitalist industrialism will and must gradually put itself out of business -- and that leaves one available option, a return to much higher levels of LPLC (local production for local use) and a more or less agrarian way of life for future humans.
Local production is sometimes not the best solution. It may take more energy to grow locally than it would be to grow in another country and ship across the seas. For efficiency sake, local producetions evolve into a warehouse model over time, which is what we currently have in a global market.

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It will have to be a lifeway in which the baubles of consumerism are few -- but it may be a very good quality of life, nevertheless. Gardening, after all, can be fun -- as is riding a bicycle.
I agree that we will probably have to cut back on what we consume today. A lot of the wealth in the US comes from cheap labor in other countries. However, buying the cheap labor makes them more prosperious until they are no longer cheap labor. I think this is good, but it also means that productivity growth may not stay at the same level (about 1 to 2.2% based on different definitions).
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:06 AM
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River, Mono and I looked at your threads here.

http://transition-times.com

http://transitionculture.org

Very interesting, what is your involvement?
My involvement is that I'm a serious student of the subject matter. I was very much interested in this sort of thing even before lots of folks said we'd arrived at "peak net energy" / peak oil.... Burning a lot less fossil fuels also, of course, helps to address the climate change problem.

I've been "green" and "ecological" in my thinking and lifestyle since I was a kid, pretty near. I've been reading myriad subject areas all my adult life which relate to this sort of thing. Remember Schumacher's "Small Is Beautiful"? Well, I read it as a kid -- really. (You may have never heard of the book. Sigh.)

I'm working on a blog post -- though I'm not sure where I'm gonna publish it quite yet. I could post it on the Transition US site, or maybe I'll create my own little blog...? In any case, I'm going to be rolling out some writing projects. I'm about to hit 44!--and it's overdue for me to start singing in public.

===

Quath, I'll respond to your reply as soon as time allows.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:12 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Reading material

I see some good stuff here from different people regarding our "hope" for change. Myself, I'm afraid I've become pretty skeptical for some time that any solution short of large scale annihilation won't happen in time. Just start over. Atlantis revisited <chuckle>
On the other hand - I try to foster hope.
For anyone interested you might find this book interesting. Although it's got a lot of material regarding capitalistic marketing etc the "concept" is there and leads you to wonder if the momentum is building in a direction that may soon "tip" in favor of survival'


The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell,

GS
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  #57  
Old 11-29-2009, 05:01 PM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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Default collective unconscious

I believe in the collective unconscious. I believe that, in the last hundred or so years, we have begun the slow, painful process of becoming a truly global society. With technology at our fingertips, we are beginning to evolve into something the human race has never had the opportunity to become. A global village. Our interconnectedness is becoming more of a known reality everyday, but I don't think we're anywhere near the precipice of global enlightenment. In fact, I don't think this will happen for a few more centuries, but I do believe it will happen.

I am, at heart, an optimist. I believe in the innate goodness of all people, but I am not naive enough to think that goodness and technological advances are enough to bring us into a new age of spiritual awakening. That, in my experience, comes from trauma. We must make our mistakes fully to understand what is at stake. In this context, that means wars, ecological disasters, human rights atrocities and the like must all be fully experienced for the collective unconscious to shift to a place where we are one connected, enlightened community.

These are heady concepts, to be sure, but even the most ignorant Walmart shopper; even the most impoverished laboring child; even the most power hungry war-monger is subject to influence by a collective wave of mass empathy. Is this tsunami upon us? No. Is it building? I sure as Hell hope so.

I am not a religious man by any means, but I consider myself very spiritual. I have faith that every human has the capacity to look beyond how their society has taught them to act and to see what their true nature is. The more love we give to the world, the more love will be received.

Spiritual awakening? Not yet, I think. We're still dreaming.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:21 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Our interconnectedness is becoming more of a known reality everyday, but I don't think we're anywhere near the precipice of global enlightenment. In fact, I don't think this will happen for a few more centuries, but I do believe it will happen.

According to Star Trek, it's not supposed to happen until we AT LEAST invent the Warp Drive (Faster-Than-Light travel, for those of you who don't speak Star Trek).
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:14 PM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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According to Star Trek, it's not supposed to happen until we AT LEAST invent the Warp Drive (Faster-Than-Light travel, for those of you who don't speak Star Trek).
Large Hadron Collider?
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  #60  
Old 11-30-2009, 01:12 AM
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Food For Thought
- My new blog
http://mind4food.blogspot.com/
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